Chance to have your say on county council cuts

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Residents are being encouraged to have their say on how Nottinghamshire County Council could save more than £20 million next year as a public consultation on the plans is launched.

The council’s policy committee this week approved the 58 savings proposals put forward and people now have until February 5, 2016 to make their views known.

Labour council leader Alan Rhodes said that a number of initial proposals for last year’s budget were changed as a direct result of feedback from the public.

He said: “With income reducing and demand for our services increasing, the county council remains in an extremely challenging financial position.

“Regrettably, as a result, a number of our services will be impacted either through a reduced offer or an increase in charges.

“However, we are continuing to do everything within our power to minimise the impact of reducing budgets on our residents by developing creative, innovative options for the way we deliver services and there are a number of examples of how we plan to do this in our proposals.”

The budget proposals are available to view and make comment on via the council’s website - www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/budget.

For those without internet access, a consultation booklet including all the detailed budget proposals will be available to pick up from week commencing December 21 at any Nottinghamshire County Council library.

The council has confirmed that 182 full-time equivalent jobs are at risk of redundancy under the 2016/17 budget proposals, though 75 of these are already vacant.

Also among the proposals are plans to scrap school buses unless there is a statutory requirement to provide them; reduce the number of mobile youth clubs from five to three; renegotiate funding for the concessionary travel scheme with bus companies to save £579,000; save £1m by encouraging adults in supported living to live more independently and to withdraw funding for the County Sports Partnership.

Councillor Rhodes added: “Everyone uses council services, often without realising it and we support some of the most vulnerable people in the county.

“It is vital you tell us what you think - we do listen.”

Residents, businesses, employees and other organisations can have their say on the plans.

All the main political parties have worked together on the budget proposals for the first time ever.

Councillor Kay Cutts, leader of the Conservative group, seconded the motion to approve the proposals for consultation at the policy committee.

She said: “This has been a mature and responsible process, recognising that the Council is in no overall political control. We are all seeking to ensure that, next February, we can fulfil our responsibility to the people who elected us to set a balanced budget. This has not been easy for any of us, but we have agreed a set of proposals we believe are suitable for consideration by Nottinghamshire taxpayers.”